Sony Music, following in the wake of Taylor Swift's (or rather, her label's) decision to pull her entire back catalogue from Spotify, may follow in the same suit. There's no point listing them, but let's face it: that's a lot of artists to lose in one go.

CFO and EVP at Sony Music, Kevin Kelleher, said this: "The key question is, are the free, ad-supported services taking away from how quickly and to what extent we can grow those paid services?" (Translation: Will Spotify give us more money than new subscription-based services?)

He added: "What it all really comes down to is how much value are the music company and the artist getting from the different consumption methods." (Translation: If not, the key question is, who will give us the most money?)

Although money is the central issue, it's clear to see, with things like Apple's potential streaming service and YouTube's Music Key on the horizon, that something is arising now out of our world's early foray into streaming music, and that thing is choice. Not just choice between free, ad-based streaming services, but the choice between different models of streaming. Music Key is not free. Apple's certainly won't be. Where does this leave Spotify?

Well, because it's free and no doubt has a lot of free subscribers, revenue from ads is used to pay artists – I do wonder what percentage of royalties going to artists/labels/publishers is from subscription fees.

On the other hand, with subscribers making up the bulk, if not the entirety of your revenue, and with YouTube and Apple already household names that people will want to be a part of (and which haven't been damned in the press as much as Spotify, because you know, sometimes it's easier to just report what you see in a press release or on another website rather than investigating even slightly or thinking about it with your own brain), it looks as if both of these upcoming services will be able to command more competitive per-stream payouts for artists.

Basically: if this fee is even one-tenth of a cent more than $0.007, Spotify is doomed.

But not necessarily. Because this is just major label bidness we talkin about here. Many independent labels may want to release their stuff through Spotify because it does not operate on a paying-customers-only basis; it might be the case that some labels feel that having to, in essence, pay a monthly tax to listen to music is slightly alienating for music fans. So the paltry per-stream sum might just be enough for those that don't want to make their fans subscribe to something. It could be perceived as greed, but never! Couldn't be! Major artists and major labels just want to be rich and famous and the best in the world! Not greedy! Just ambitious, right?

In other news: Bandcamp have a nifty idea: subscribe to an artist you like, get their releases in your inbox. For actual fans of actual artists (and not some heavily marketed label slave), this is really cool.